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Stull: The Comic-Con Submission

UPDATE: A Good Reason NOT to Submit to Comic-Con Film Festival

Since a major component of my film festival strategy is to submit to genre festivals, I thought I’d kick off with a submission to Comic-Con. I happen to know a couple of filmmakers who have gotten in to Comic-Con’s International Film Festival, so it comes recommended. I can’t think of a better place to get my movie in front of a ton of genre fans. Also, if you get in, you get a bunch of VIP passes to the Con! I’ve never been, but always wanted to go.

Their submission guidelines couldn’t have looked simpler when I printed them out, but I had a bit of an ordeal gathering everything together. Firstly, I have a whole packet of press material written for “Stull” but they only needed a short synopsis and a filmmaker bio. Cutting your synopsis down to 50 words is an art in itself. Here’s what I came up with:

In 1993, four teens visited an abandoned church in Stull, Kansas, a place reputed to be a gate to Hell. They were never heard from again.

“Stull” recounts the supernatural events leading up to their disappearance, including encounter with a strange man who might just be the Devil himself.

There was no word limit on the bio, but I kept that short too.

Secondly, they want four DVD copies of movie. No problem, except I was a bit wary of sending out my nicely-packaged version. A quick call to filmmaker Alex Horwitz, whose “Alice Jacobs is Dead” played the Con last year, confirmed my hesitancy. He said he’s heard many a festival programmer say that they discriminate against slick packaging. But he also said not to use paper labels on DVDs. He uses Lightscribe, which I don’t have. But I do already have my nicely-pressed DVDs. I ended up cracking open four boxes and putting them generic plastic cases. Nice, but not too slick.

Finally, they require one production still. No problem, right? I have a whole gallery of them online. Well, the problem is I don’t have any of them physically printed. I thought everyone would only want digital files these days.

Anyway, I planned to print a still out on my little Canon CP-200 photo-printer that I haven’t used in ages. After four hours, I concluded that it is either broken or non-compatible with Snow Leopard.

So I went to FedEx Kinko’s with a USB stick with some images on it. Turns out the Sony copy station can’t read a Mac-formatted stick. I went back home, moved the files over to the FAT32 partition on the stick and went back. I printed a bunch out and none of them came out very good. It’s dye-sub printing and there must be a bunch of hairs and dust, because there are all kinds of dots and curly lines that are yellow, magenta or green. Anyway, I picked the best of a bad bunch and included that, making sure there was a little line at the bottom of my info sheet saying that digital files were available.

The packet is all together. I’m very proud. If I get in, you can bet there will be an excited post right here.

NOTE: Be sure to read the update to find out how Comic-Con mis-handled my film.


  1. Dude,
    Good luck. I seriously want you to inherit the mantle of Comic Con's Best Horror Film from Alice Jacobs.

  2. Good luck! Just for future reference, you might have had better luck with your photo-printing at Walmart/CVS/Rite-Aid/Walgreen's/Pick-Your-Poison. All you have to do is upload the files, then go down to the physical store to pick up the prints, which are very cheap. The quality isn't professional, but certainly far better than what you described getting at Kinko's.

  3. I too submitted for Pro status this year as the publisher of "Stellar Arcana" (new online comic book) I had the same type challenge of PHYSICAL PHOTOS since we are completely a GO GREEN operation. LOL Kinda defeats the purpose, but ended up printed a LIMITED EDITION of issue one just for the soul purpose of sending a hard copy to Comicon staff. ;)

  4. I hope to see you there! I'll be looking forward to your project release! Best luck- TIMMY

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